Washington’s tax structure a hot topic for debate. Plus: tuition hikes, talk of a sales tax increase, GAU, and health care

April 9, 2009 | Alex Stone

TVW: Lisa Brown discusses Washington state’s tax system: Washington state suffers from a structural deficit– a precursor to our current budget deficit. Lisa Brown discusses why our tax system is fundamentally flawed and what can be done to fix it. Her interview begins 5:04 minutes into the broadcast. | TVW

Will federal aid mitigate huge tuition hikes?: In the wake of the governor’s proposal to raise college tuition by 30 percent over two years, University of Washington students and administrators are trying to find ways to blunt the financial impact on families. | SeattlePI.com

Health care groups rev up Wash. sales tax campaign: Health care interests are starting their campaign for a state sales tax increase, sponsoring a TV advertisement this week to pump up public support for a November referendum bankrolling health programs. | SeattlePI.com

New jobless claims fall more than expected to 654K: New jobless claims fell more than expected last week but are stuck at elevated levels, while the number of people continuing to receive unemployment insurance approached 6 million, setting a record for the 10th straight week. | Seattle Times

Schmudget: In Fact, Other States Do Have GA-U Programs: Yesterday, we talked about how GA-U fills an essential role in our state’s health care infrastructure. Today, I want to point out (again) that similar programs exist in most other states. In fact, thirty-one states have statewide programs and another nine states have programs that are available in some counties, but not others. In total, only 11 states do not provide similar assistance. | Schmudget

National Poll: 74 Percent Support Higher Taxes On The Rich: Almost three-quarters of Americans think it is a good idea to raise taxes on people making more than $250,000 per year, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times poll. In fact, two-thirds of Americans think the tax code should be changed so that middle-class Americans pay less than they do now, while “upper income” people pay more. | CBS News

Incrementalism: Cantwell proposes health care fixes short of major reforms: Even if Congress doesn’t enact comprehensive health care reform this year, there’s plenty federal lawmakers can do to reduce the nation’s soaring health care costs and improve access, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell said Wednesday at a Vancouver news conference. | Columbian

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Posted in Health Care, State Economy, Tax and Budget

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